MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Now they are a team, but a little more than a year ago, they were strangers.
But something special happened when Donna White and Kathi Thorn joined Norm Black in his efforts at Immanuel House to help people find jobs.
Things have gone a long way since, and the three, officially known as the Employment Application Team, spend Monday evenings together trying to make a difference to jobseekers.
It is not an easy or quick process, especially since it is often necessary to foster relationships with people who stop at the place of worship.
Some are reluctant to talk about themselves first; others are homeless or struggling with issues that have difficulties in their daily lives.
It is impossible to find job vacancies, explore online job sites, prepare a preview and even complete an application without a computer, laptop or other mobile device such as a mobile phone.
The team therefore bring a laptop with them every week for use in the job search process, White, a human resources professional who continues to work and travels nationally as part of his professional duties.
She was given the charity work by the leader of a district Catholic church, who knew about God, and she mentioned it.
"Good news circulates, so I came to attend Norm, and we went from there," she said.
He is performing to help someone who wants to improve his life, White said, noting that older people are cooperative in trying new technology.
"We help them apply for jobs online. And, as you would expect, some do not have great computer skills, so it is worthwhile typing for them," she said. "But when they have a job, it really shows."
White and Thorn bring their own computers to use, and two more are left for people to use while the team is there, White said.
“Sometimes the focus is an important part of what we do together, because many people are on the map and I don't really know what they want to do or what job they will be applying for,” she said. .
Staff help prepare individuals for interview questions and “generally ensure they are ready for the next stage,” said White.
Lack of movement or transport is another issue and can limit where a person can apply, Thorn said, who entered the attempt about a month after White.
She is a former government employee, and Thorn is a computer specialist and loves to practice her professional skills in the community.
Thorn is not as big as volunteering, and is part of the Retired Volunteers Program.
"Marge Ruth, co-ordinator of the local RSVP program, said Norm was seeking help, and that was my start," she said.
The three worked with approximately 40 people, of whom around five are full-time employment.
"And we know they are always working. We are here to offer hope, and that is a big part of it," said White as Thorn was preparing.
There is always a sign to stay on when it becomes tough, says White.
"Some times, Norm and I were sitting here thinking about why we continue to do this. And without fail, at least two show that day, so we get it," she said.
.Leave a comment